Best Rifle Scope Under 300 Bucks
A lot of readers have contacted us to not just separate our rifle scope reviews by the type of shooting being performed or the overall intended use, but rather to provide some advice on the different budgets that people may have. One of the most common requests is for information on the best rifle scope under 300 bucks.
That is precisely why we created this page, but I want to highlight that just looking at your budget without your intended use can very quickly result in you buying a scope in budget that does not fully cover what you intend to use it for.
For the purpose of this article we are going to focus on scopes in the $200 to $300. We have another designated page for the best rifle scope under 200 Dollars and you may well find that you can get exactly what you want for less than your budget. So, let’s get into the analysis.
As you will see on some of our other rifle scope pages, the main uses people encounter are:
- Target/Competitive Shooting
- Tactical and home defense
Unfortunately, there is no one scope that will fully cover all three of these, but there is significant overlap that will allow you to narrow things down a bit. One of the main reasons is that for tactical home defense purposes you will want a scope with low to no magnification and possibly red dot functionality.
On the other hand, hunting and target shooting will require some quite powerful magnification. At the same time, the field of view requirements will be very different between hunting and target shooting. You see how difficult a task it can be to narrow things down. For that reason we have come up with three scope recommendations, one for each type of use and the good news is that your budget allows for some pretty high quality purchases.
Best Hunting Scope Under $300
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD
The reason this scope fits well into this category is because it has certain features that are ideal for hunters. It has a powerful and long magnification range from 4.5x to 14x, while at the same time providing for a wide range of view (23 feet @100 yards and 4.5x magnification).
In addition, the reticle is designed to be very visible even with tough backgrounds like foliage. The mil dot reticle is ideal for hunting as it allows you to make quick adjustments to your aim when there is no time for carefully planned turret adjustments
The turret adjustments themselves allow for 1/4 inch clicks at 100 yards for both elevation and windage. The great thing is that the clicks can be felt even through gloves and there is a clearly audible sound as well.
With this kind of budget you are also able to get a scope where the lenses are fully multicoated. This will result in more light getting through to your eye and glare and lens flare is vastly reduced. It also enhances the lenses reliability in high humidity, freezing and wet weather conditions, basically making it ideal for all types of environments.
We have a designated product review with a lot more detail on the features here.
Best Target Scope Under $300
Mueller Target Rifle Scope 8-32x
If you are looking for a scope for target shooting at a range then you will definitely want a powerful magnification and a very precise and fine reticle. And that is precisely what you get with this incredibly powerful rifle scope. To our knowledge there is no other scope available for $250 that provides a 32x zoom.
Comparable scopes from the big manufacturers of professional competition scopes will easily cost you 4 times as much, which really makes this scope stand out. The optics are incredibly clear and sharp even at full magnification, and the powerful zoom will allow you to clearly see bullet holes at 400 yards.
The mil dot reticle is very fine making precise targeting a lot easier. In addition, the mil dots allow for quick adjustments for windage and elevation, ideal for situation where you do not have the time to make turret adjustments. This makes this scope suitable for hunting as well, however the reticle may be a bit more difficult to see with very busy backgrounds like foliage.
A wide field of view is not needed and if anything can be very distracting, and with this scope you will get a field of view of 9.3 feet at 8 x and 2.5 feet at 32 x, both measured at 100 yards. This will very much help you focus on your target with fewer distractions from the targets surroundings.
Best Home Defense Scope Under $300
Vortex Optics SPR-1303 Spitfire 3x
For close range tactical or home defense use you will want to buy a scope that has very little or even no magnification. What is very important here is that you get a wide field of view with a clearly visible reticle in all types of light conditions.
This particular Vortex model delivers all this and then some, all for $300. It has a 3x magnification, which makes it ideal for, close and even medium range targets and it has a massive 32.1 yards field of view at 100 yards. This allows you to easily scan the target environment through the scope and helps with much quicker target acquisition.
The enhanced battle reticle is lighted, but also etched in to suit your personal preferences. There are multiple light colors (red and green) and brightness settings to allow you to make adjustments for the environment you find yourself in.
Identifying the best rifle scope under 300 Dollars is very much a decision based on the usage and of personal preferences, but with the above information you should clearly understand what you need to focus on. I also firmly believe that all of the above scopes will fully satisfy your needs while strictly sticking to your budget expectations. All the scopes have features and specifications usually only found on scopes that would cost 4 or even 5 times as much.